A/N: My second Against the Wall story! Thank you to everyone who offered suggestions after the epilogue of "Something Bigger" for which story I ought to publish next; this one was the most complete, so it will go first, but don't worry, I promise that the others will be coming too!
While my last story was set a few years ahead of the show, this story begins basically where we are in the show right now. I don't know exactly how long this story will end up being, but I anticipate it will be somewhere between 10 and 15 chapters. Also, before anyone throws anything at me for this first chapter, I would like to reiterate that this is an Abby/Brody story. Just give it time to get there, please!
So, without further ado...
"I slept with Danny last night."
Mackie Phan nearly spit out her coffee as she dropped her mug to the table and stared at her best friend incredulously. "I'm sorry, you did what?"
"I had sex with Danny Mitchell last night."
Mackie shook her head. She'd known something was up the moment Abby had shown up at the door to her apartment at eight o'clock on a Sunday morning, still wearing the clothes she'd seen her leave in the night before.
"Well? Aren't you going to say something?"
Mackie sighed. "What do you want me to say, Abby? Does this mean you've made a decision? You're picking Danny over Brody?"
"What?" Abby asked in confusion. "No, of course not. I haven't decided anything, Mackie. If anything, I'm more confused than ever."
Mackie frowned and took another sip of her coffee. "So what happened to the booty call rules you had with Brody? Did you forget about those?"
"No, I didn't forget them. They were my idea, remember?" Abby sighed and ran her finger along the rim of her coffee mug. "I don't know, last night was…well, it was weird. First Brody stood me up and then…"
"I'm sorry, Brody stood you up?"
"We were supposed to meet for dinner, but he never showed. Then Richie called and said he was hanging out at Lou's Pub, and I should come join him, so I did. I was pissed at Brody, and then all of a sudden, there was Danny. And he was sweet and nice and I'd had a few drinks…"
"So you had drunk sex with Danny."
"No, I wasn't drunk," Abby insisted. "It was only a few drinks. I don't know, Richie left about half an hour after Danny arrived, and then we were just talking and talking and the next thing I knew, we were in a cab going back to his place."
"I thought Danny didn't want a one night stand with you," Mackie said. "Isn't that why he stopped last time?"
"So what did you tell him?"
"Nothing! I swear, Mackie, I probably only said a half dozen complete sentences the whole night. He did most of the talking."
Mackie sighed and stared carefully at Abby for a moment, as though evaluating her state of mind. "Okay. So what are you going to do?"
"I guess it's too much to hope that I could just pretend like nothing happened, right?"
"Abby, you know that Danny is going to take this to mean that he has a shot at a real relationship with you. What did he say this morning?"
Abby shrugged. "I don't know. I left before he woke up."
"Oh, God, Abby," Mackie sighed. "What am I going to do with you? You are going to have to deal with this mess eventually."
"Eventually could mean a long time from now," Abby said hopefully.
Mackie shook her head. "Or it could mean soon. You know what you have to do, don't you?"
"No," Abby said hesitantly. "I'm not sure I want to know."
"You have to tell Brody what happened."
"Absolutely not," Abby said, looking horrified that Mackie would even suggest it. "He'd completely flip out."
"Yeah. And can you blame him if he does? Abby, you're the one who agreed not to sleep with anyone else. As far as we know, Brody's held up his end of the bargain. You're the one who cheated."
"I did not cheat!" Abby exclaimed defensively. "Cheating implies a relationship, and I was very clear on that point. Brody and I are not in a relationship."
"You can call it whatever you want, Abby. Brody has been nothing but sweet and accommodating and patient, but that man is going to see this as you cheating on him. And quite frankly, I agree with him."
"I thought you were supposed to be my friend."
"I am your friend, Abby," Mackie said impatiently. "Part of being your friend is calling you on your shit when I see it, and I see it big time here. You need to make a choice between Danny and Brody, and you need to make it fast."
Brody smiled when Abby pulled open the door to her apartment late that same afternoon. He leaned over and kissed her softly before walking into the apartment while Abby shut the door behind him. She lingered for just a moment with her hand on the door, her eyes closed as she forced herself to take a deep breath before turning around.
"What's wrong?" Brody asked in concern almost as soon as he saw her face.
Abby shook her head and sighed to herself. "We need to talk, John."
"Oh." Brody nodded and watched her carefully. "This is about that lawyer, isn't it?"
"There's something you need to know," Abby said slowly, cautiously picking her words. "But before I say anything, you need to know that this isn't me choosing him over you. That's not what this is about. It's just…something you need to know, I guess."
Brody thought he might be sick as he waited for her to continue, both eager to get this over with and dreading whatever she was about to say. As much as she was protesting what it meant, he knew it couldn't possibly be good for him.
"I slept with Danny."
Brody took a step backward, recoiling as though she'd slapped him across the face. His world suddenly felt like it had turned upside down, and not in the good way Abby usually inspired. When he finally felt like he could attempt to speak again, he had only one question.
"Does it really matter?"
Brody nodded. "Just tell me if it was before or after we set our rules."
Abby hesitated for a moment, already hating herself for what she was about to say. "After," she admitted reluctantly.
Brody shook his head and rubbed his jaw in frustration.
"I'm so sorry, John," Abby said pleadingly. "This wasn't about me picking him or you. I never meant for this to happen, it just…it happened. If I could take it back, I would, but I can't. It doesn't have to change anything."
"No. Abby, this changes everything."
"This changes everything," Brody repeated angrily. "I was okay with your rules, Abby. I want more, but I would have waited as long as it took for you to be ready for that, because have some part of a relationship with you was better to me than no relationship at all. They were your rules, Abby, but I guess you really only meant them to apply to me, didn't you?"
"No, of course not," Abby protested tearfully. "John, I am so sorry, you have…"
"I trusted you, Abby. When you said you were just going to date him, I didn't like it, but I trusted you." Brody shook his head and brushed past her on the way to the door. "I guess that was my mistake."
"Brody, please…don't leave."
Brody pulled open the door, his heart breaking at her tear-stained face as he looked back briefly over his shoulder. "I hope you find what you're looking for with the lawyer, Abby."
Abby shook her head as he slammed the door closed angrily, the sound echoing through her apartment for a moment before she slumped to the floor, burying her head in her hands and crying.